Want Alerts? Do This!

Gallatin County Emergency Management

A common occurrence after a large emergency occurs are the questions of why certain people did not get alerted.  The best way to ensure someone gets notified is for them to take 5 minutes and register in the Community Notification System which covers everywhere in Gallatin County.  Ultimately, notifying everyone as quickly as we want is always challenging as no single method works for everyone.  The perception is often that the government can reach out and contact everyone on all their devices, which isn’t true in practice.  Federal law requires landline telephone companies to provide telephone numbers and their installed addresses to emergency officials, but this is not the case for cellular phones and email.

Obviously landline telephones are in decline and in order for us to reach you in an emergency on anything other than a land line phone we need you to provide it to us.  So, if you want to ensure you receive emergency notifications about incidents that affect you, tell us how you want to be notified at Alerts.ReadyGallatin.com.  In the future we do expect the ability of emergency officials to geographically notify any cellular phone of emergencies to become more practical.  Cellular providers are working on implementing new changes in the Wireless Emergency Alerts system and vendors such as Google are building similar capability into their Android phones.

Emergency Officials here in Gallatin County take great measures to be as clear and accurate as possible when sending an emergency alert.  We always try to target the message to those who are affected (to avoid confusing those who are not at risk) with what is going on, who the message applies to, what affected people should do, and where they can get more information.  In situations where people are being asked to take a specific action, such as evacuating or sheltering in place, we always try to have a law enforcement officer or firefighter contact people in person.